Kerley to headline Maurie Plant Meet

Reigning world 100m champion Fred Kerley will square off against flying Australian Rohan Browning in a mouth-watering sprint clash at next month's Maurie Plant meet in Melbourne.

The powerhouse American, who sits sixth on the 100m alltime list with a PB of 9.76 seconds and won gold at last year's world titles in Eugene, will open his 2023 campaign in the 200m at Lakeside Stadium.

His competition will include Browning and rising Australian half-lap stars Calab Law and Aidan Murphy.

"I am excited to start my season in Australia and I will also use this as a training base for the upcoming season," Kerley said.

"I have competed in all the other continents, and I am excited to get the opportunity to compete in Australia.

"Also, it is nice to open my season with the 200m because I got injured in the 200m semi-finals at the world championships."

The 27-year-old Kerley's impressive CV includes two world championship gold medals, silver in the 100m at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and a pair of Diamond League titles.

He is also one of only three men - along with South African Wayde van Niekerk and fellow American Michael Norman - to have broken 10 seconds in the 100m and also gone sub-20 seconds in the 200m and sub-44 seconds in the 400m.

Unlike Kerley, the 25-year-old Browning will double up in the 100m and 200m at the Maurie Plant Meet on February 23.

"Can an Australian produce an upset?" pondered Browning.

"I'd like to think so.

"Damien Marsh, Monaco 1995 (when the Queenslander won the IAAF 100m grand prix final against the odds) springs to mind.

"Let's just say that if I was a Melbourne-based sports fan, I wouldn't be missing this."

For reigning Australian champ Murphy, it will be a second clash against Kerley after they were drawn in the same opening-round heat of the 200m at last year's world titles.

Kerley won that race before being eliminated in the semis after suffering a quadriceps injury.

But such is the United States' global dominance of the event that Noah Lyles still went on to headline an American clean sweep of the medals in Oregon.